Black History Month – a LGBT perspective

josh stonewallAs a Stonewall Diversity Champion, Touchstone is committed to improving the lives of LGBT people both in the workplace and wider community. Which is why we want to pass on these practical tips about how best to celebrate Black History Month from Stonewall’s Josh Willacy.

Black History Month has been celebrated every October in the UK for over 35 years.

We know that LGBT people who are black, Asian or minority ethnic can face dual discrimination on account of their ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and that there is still lots to do to ensure that all people, are accepted without exception.

To find out more about the unique experiences of BAME LGB people, read Stonewall’s report “One Minority at a Time”.

What can you do?

  • Positively profile BAME, and BAME LGBT staff, customers, service users and stakeholders as positive, diverse role models who believe in equality.
    We know that there’s a lack of BAME LGBT role models, and people often don’t see themselves represented therefore profiling in your communications can be incredibly powerful. John Amaechi, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Lord Waheed Alli, Nicola Adams, Marsha P Johnson, George Takei and Laverne Cox are just a few positive role models.
  • Holding film nights which explore being BAME and LGBT can be a great way to open conversations about intersectionality and multiple identities. Films you might want to show and discuss include “Paris is Burning” and “Brother Outsider”.
  • Bring together LGBT and BAME networks to hold events over the month, and bring people together to provide staff with an opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another.
  • Empower people to challenge racism and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when they see it and direct staff towards Stonewall’s No Bystanders campaign.
  • Attend the Black ‘N Proud – My Queer Culture event at Leeds Beckett University on the 30th of October (I’ll be on the panel).
  • Invite me to a lunch and learn. As a mixed race gay man, I’m happy to talk about this with any staff who are interested. Some organisations have already taken me up on this, so if you are keen let me know – my diary is really filling up!
  • Share what you are doing with me so I can share it as best practice, and connect with @Stonewalluk on twitter with the #BlackHistoryMonth hashtag.

You can connect with Josh on Twitter @JoshyWillacy or e-mail him on Josh.Willacy@stonewall.org.uk

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